Al Shamal were held to a 1-1 draw by Umm Salal in Week 21 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Wednesday.
While Matias Nani scored for Al Shamal in the 24th minute, Adel Alawi got the equalizer for Umm Salal late, in 90+8 minute.
The strike helped The Orange Fortress salvage an important point in the business end of the league championship. The draw saw Umm Salal being tied on 17 points with Al Rayyan after 21 games.
Al Rayyan are 10th in the standings on better goal difference and Umm Salal 11th. Al Shamal with 18 points are just a point clear of them.
The situation for any of these teams, including bottom-placed Al Sailiya on 16 points, could however change soon after the final Week 22 matches.
But the battle between Al Shamal and Umm Salal provided for an absorbing contest. A powerful header by Nani, off a superb curling corner kick, found the far left corner of the goal - just near the post beating the outstretched hand of a diving Umm Salal goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar. It also set the tone for the match.
But Umm Salal had to work hard as many of their raids were foiled. They were however persistent and the perseverance paid off in the final moments of injury time. And the goal came through some exciting action.
A long free-kick taken from near the center line saw Al Shamal keeper Babacar Seck rushing out, but as he jumped he lost the ball and the goalmouth melee saw Al Sulaimane make the most of the chance with a left-foot kick that found the goal and the players and fans broke into celebrations.